Hello my name is John. I am forty-one years old. I was born in 1973 in Sacramento, CA. I had a very good childhood for the most part. My parents are born again Christians and were active in the church. Growing up in the church it had its good and bad parts. I enjoyed the relationships I gained, but I did not enjoy being forced to go to church. My parents were leaders in the church. And I felt that I was to live under a microscope. As I hit my teenage years I started to rebel. I first smoked marijuana at the age of twelve. Soon after began drinking here and there with my friends, in high school I played three sports, soccer, baseball, and football. After games it became a ritual to go to parties and celebrate a win or a loss with friends. During my junior year I tried cocaine for the first time and started doing it regularly. I ended up going to treatment my senior year of high school for my cocaine addiction. Even though I was partying hard I still was offered an athletic scholarship to play soccer at a small university in Northwest Iowa. I continued to party while going to school. I smoked marijuana and drank alcohol regularly. After my college days were over I moved back to California and moved to Manteca where I lived my entire childhood. I was prescribed pain medication and started taking them, that and muscle relaxes to cope with my aches and pains during my sports years. This continued on for years. That lead me to getting arrested five times for D.U.I’s. In April of 2014 I received my fifth and final D.U.I and realized that changes needed to be made. Upon entering Teen Challenge I am finally reaching out to God as I did as child. Finding a personal relationship with him that I turned away for so many years. I am now set in a new direction in my life with Jesus as my Lord and savior.
My name is Patrick. I am twenty-two years of age. I was born and raised mostly in Sacramento, CA. I grew up in a very loving family. But like most families we had some faults. I was raised in a Baptist Christian church. I always stayed active in sports and I played everything from basketball, baseball, Ice hockey, and track and even learned how to do martial arts and boxing. Both my parents and sister were very supportive in the things I did. I maintained average grades. I made honor roll till the eighth grade, than skated through my freshman to junior year. During my junior year I had several family issues arising. In my mind I knew the answers to the issues but I had a very hard time swallowing the truth. My parents separated after twenty-one years of marriage. My family became very depressed. I had found out that my father had been using and selling methamphetamines for about twenty-five years give or take. It was a shock considering he maintained a very well respected business. I started experimenting with ecstasy, cocaine, weed, and pills. I always knew these things were not right for me. Once I had found out about my father something triggered in my head that it was ok. I experimented with meth for the first time when I was eighteen with my father. I spiraled out of control and not only did I love to fight but I was using a drug that enhanced my anger so much more. I ended up in jail when I was nineteen for an assault charge and released two months later with reduced charges. All this time keeping God on the bookshelf. I moved out of state met a girl I got her pregnant but lost the child four months later. I moved back to Sacramento homeless and heard about Teen Challenge. I have been in the program for one month and I know and believe what Philippians 1:6 says.
My name is Santiago and I am 23 years old. I grew up in a home with two loving parents. A mom that always taught me the way of the Lord. During junior high and high school I was the guy who got along with every crowd. I had good grades, and I played sports and I got along with the stoners. In spite of me having a good moral and spiritual foundation I found that the rougher crowds of friends were slowly but surely having larger influence on my life. By the time I was in the eighth grade I began using pot and started drinking. In the ninth grade I continued smoking and drinking but I still managed to maintain good grades and stay playing sports. My junior year of high school I had a knee injury and was introduced to pain killers. I discovered if I took enough I felt a high that I enjoyed. Even after going down the road of prescription drugs, weed and drinking I still manage to maintain sports and my grades. So I never felt like they were a problem in my life. It was not until I moved out of my parent’s house to attend college that things started to go down hill. I began to not only use drugs but sold them to. I started to party way too often like I thought all college students did. It didn't take much time for me to find my self in and out of trouble which soon made me realize I could not live the life I had been living. This in turn brought me to Teen Challenge. Now God is providing me with a safe haven for me to evaluate my priorities in life, to draw closer to God and focus on bettering my future rather than throwing it all down the drain being out on the streets. If it is Gods will after Teen Challenge I plan to continue pursing my business degree so that I may be better equipped to run my own business some day. While completing my college requirements I hope to find a church that I may help to guide their youth and by Gods grace help steer them away from the decisions and the path that I have made.
Hi my name is Jack, and I once was leading a life of darkness. I gave my life over to the needle and spent all my time on a mission to get high. This was a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week mission that involved lying, stealing, cheating, and lots of manipulation which resulted in going in and out of jail and catching case after case. About 2 months ago I received a strike on my record for a gun charge. The relationship I once had with God was gone. But even though I walked away, Jesus kept following. I was in the middle of work when I felt Heaven crash into my soul, and felt Jesus telling me to come back to Teen Challenge. Any other time I would have rejected this feeling, but I just knew this feeling was right. God has perfect timing. I quit my job, left my car, left my house, and 2 days later found myself back in Teen Challenge. Today my relationship with the Lord is more real and tangible than ever before. God is not only renewing my life but also working tremendously in my family’s life. I have made a choice to live my life in the light, and now I’m on a 24 hour, 7 day a week mission from God.
Hello my name is Cletis. I’m 21 years old and I was born in Madera, CA. And stayed there for 13 years. I grew up with parents that where addicted to drugs. I went to Awanas as a child and I was a cub scout. At age 7 I witnessed my mother overdose on heroin and basically my whole family was into drugs and drinking. A couple years later my parents split up and I stopped talking to my father. I was 10 years old when I was introduced to marijuana. I graduated high school and found out I was going to be a father. I tried meth and was instantly hooked on it. Strung out on meth I knew I had 2 options. Either keep doing what I’m doing or find a new way to live. My brother was also in Teen Challenge so I knew about the program. I called and here I am. I give Teen Challenge a lot of thanks because I have found a new way to live and that is with Christ Jesus. Now I know what I want to do and it is to become a youth pastor and go around to local high schools and spread the help of not using drugs, and the cause of drugs. God has transformed my life. I no longer live for the world but I live for Christ.
My name is John. As a kid my parents did a lot of drugs and sold them. When I was 6 years old they came to Teen Challenge. While they were there, I lived with my grand parents. When they came home things were OK until I was 15. That’s when my parents got a divorce and I started to use drugs. When I turned 18 years old I moved to California, quit using drugs and fell in love with my son’s mom. After four years of being with her she left and took my son with her. At that time I started using and selling drugs again. In doing this I met a girl that I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. This lasted until one morning I woke up and found her overdosed next to me in bed. I really lost control after that I started using drugs in a whole new way. I became very hateful towards everyone and started selling guns. During this time I lost my grandpa and uncle. My health was bad from all the drugs I was using, I weighed only 150 pounds.
One day when I was coming down off drugs at my mom’s house, my grand parents got me into the Teen Challenge program here I am 11 months in and life is still going good. God has been doing so much in my life. The program can be hard at times but the Lord helps me every day. I love what God has done for me and how much I keep learning from him every day.
Hi my name is Michael; I am 24 years old and a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, and am a Staff member here at the San Francisco Teen Challenge. I grew up in a great family, hard working, and loving, caring parents to take care of my two younger sisters, my younger brother and myself. Till about 8 years of age we had gone to church regularly, I attended Sunday school. After 8 years we had stopped going to church for various reasons. Throughout the years my sisters and I developed good work ethics and morals, as a result of the example my parents set before us. We welcomed my little brother, who is now 14 years old and my sisters being 22 we've grown up quick. During my high school years I did the occasional high school partying etc. I was always the kid that was saying “I’ll do this, but never that.” After graduating in 2008, I found my first job as a pizza delivery driver and was then introduced to marijuana. I had smoked for four months after a drunk driver had almost killed me and my best friend in a car accident, but by the grace of God we came out without a scratch. After the accident I became depressed having almost seeing my best friend dead, soon after I was introduced to Vicodin. Vicodin ruined my life. I had an addiction that stole many thing s from me, my family, my friends, my integrity and happiness. I ended up stealing thousands of dollars from my job. One night as I drove in the dark, I had called out to God, “God,” I said, “I’m tired of being an addict, a thief and a liar, I’m done.” God delivered me the next day as he heard my prayer. I was fired from my job, shown an extreme amount of grace and a week later came to Teen Challenge. God has proved faithful and loving again and again. After 14 years of being absent in church my WHOLE family is attending church regularly, both my sisters and brother has been baptized. God has taken me to India on a life changing mission’s trip; He has provided the means to attend Glad Tidings Bible Institute. He still continues to provide for me day in and day out, I’m forever grateful for Jesus saving myself and most of all my family too.